Wellingborough, Finedon council by election 29th September

Wellingborough, Finedon - Conservative hold

Party   2016 votes     2016 share  since 2015 "top"since 2015 "average"since 2011 "top"since 2011 "average"
from nowhere
from nowhere
Liberal Democrat 
from nowhere
from nowhere
from nowhere
from nowhere
Total votes


Swing Labour to Conservative ~12% since both 2015 and 2011

Council now 27 Conservative, 9 Labour

review first published here > written by @andrewteale 


Wellingborough council, Northamptonshire; caused by the death of Conservative councillor John Bailey.  One of the UK’s longest-serving councillors, Bailey was first elected in 1967 to the pre-reform Wellingborough urban district council, and had served continuously on the present Wellingborough borough council since its first election in 1973.  He was also a Northamptonshire county councillor from 1970 to 2013 and had served on Finedon parish council since its establishment in 1983.  Bailey’s council career peaked in 2005-2011 when he was leader of Wellingborough council; he was twice Mayor of Wellingborough (1976-77 and 2004-05) and chairman of the county council in 2012-13, was chairman of Wellingborough’s audit committee at the time of his death and chaired the borough’s housing committee for 27 years.  In his working life, after studying at Selwyn College, Cambridge (where he was captain of the University Challengeteam), he had been an economist-statistician with Shell-Mex and BP, an IBM programmer and an analyst and database administrator with British Timken.  In honour of his services to the community in Wellingborough, Bailey was appointed MBE in the 2016 New Year honours list.

Among his many achievements, John Bailey literally wrote the book on Finedon – in fact he wrote several which are cited on Finedon’s Wikipedia page.  If we consult the oldest source in the National Archives, the Domesday book of 1086, Finedon (then known as Thingdon, from Old English words meaning “assembly valley” – a good omen for democracy) was one of four Northamptonshire towns with a population greater than fifty, but never achieved greatness.  In the eighteenth century Finedon was the home of the Dolben baronets, some of whom sat in Parliament including the lawyer Sir Gilbert Dolben (for Ripon, Peterborough and Yarmouth, Isle of Wight) and the anti-slavery campaigner Sir William Dolben (for Northamptonshire and Oxford University); they lived at Finedon Hall as did their descendant, the early Victorian poet Digby Mackworth Dolben who died from drowning aged 19.  The Dolben baronets would probably be rather surprised to hear that the present incumbent of Finedon’s mid-fourteenth-century parish church is the former Communards singer and Radio 4 broadcaster Revd Richard Coles.  Coles’ flock consists of 3,278 electors at the junction of the A6 Kettering-Bedford road and the A510 Wellingborough-Thrapston road, 4 miles north-east of Wellingborough.
Finedon has been a safe Conservative ward in the twenty-first century in which the party are not seriously challenged – in the 2007 and 2011 elections the Tory slate was guaranteed one seat due to their only opposition being a single Labour candidate.  Last year the Conservatives won with 47% to 27% for Labour and 26% for UKIP.  The Tories also hold the local county council seat – which includes the eastern part of Wellingborough town – but the last county result in 2013 was a three-way marginal with Labour second and UKIP third.
There will still be a Bailey on the ballot as John’s widow Barbara, a Finedon parish councillor, defends the seat for the Conservatives.  The Labour candidate is Steve Ayland, who gives an address in Finedon.  UKIP have selected Allan Shipham, chairman of the party’s Wellingborough branch, and the ballot paper is completed by Lib Dem candidate John Wheaver.
Parliamentary constituency: Wellingborough
Proposed parliamentary constituency from 2020: Kettering
Northamptonshire county council division: Finedon
May 2015 result C 1250/944 Lab 720 UKIP 698
May 2011 result C 935/847 Lab 612
May 2007 result C 909/720 Lab 539
May 2003 result C 768/652 Lab 527/407